Do What I Say – Not As I Do!

Those words have come out of our mouths at one time or another, but what do they really mean to our children?

When we, as parents, are acting foolishly, saying words we shouldn’t be saying, or indulging in things we shouldn’t be, could it be time to take a moment and recognize that maybe, just maybe, we’re giving our children mixed messages.

It’s a new era raising children today and it’s our responsibility to be good examples. At times, we have certain ideas about how we believe this journey of “Parentdom” should be. We tend to be really liberal or very stiff. Things that may have impacted us through our life journey has no room when we are dealing with these amazing gifts – our children. We should wake every morning with a new vision and remember they are definitely a present and have nothing to do with our past.

As a motivational speaker and parenting author, there have been numerous occasions to meet with some of the most incredible experts who deal specifically with family issues. Hands down the bottom line is that parents today must be healthier than ever. Not only physically, but mentally and emotionally.

When we feel passionate inside about what we are doing and where we are going, and are totally in touch with our own feelings, we may find ourselves able to handle these “teenage years” with respect for one another, understanding and communicating more calmer with each other rather than screaming over one another.

Children are just what that word says, they are our “children.” Yet, why is it that we’re turning the reigns over to them and allowing them to rule the family? Why is it that we feel we must respond to their every beck and call they shout out and/or demand? Who said they are entitled to every new gadget available in the market?

If you answered “I DON’T KNOW AND NO ONE,” then you are absolutely correct. So, then why do we do it? It’s not because your child needs another friend – you, nor is it because you never had these things, so you want to give your child what you didn’t have. Blah, blah, blah! Are our actions truly what we are feeling or are we doing things out of guilt?

Guilt is a sickness and with any other sickness, it must be cured. The cure to guilt is a two-letter word that if taken in doses is remarkable. That word is “NO!” That’s it. Simple, no therapy necessary, no prescription drugs, nothing, just a word.

Now, you may be thinking, Is she serious? Has she totally lost her mind? If I tell my child “No,” the whole roof will just blow off the house. Ok, and? So get a new roof! At least you may be teaching your child that they cannot have everything the world has to offer, that the universe does not revolve around them, or, you may even allow them to feel some humility and gratefulness for what they have.

Children today are more intelligent than any other generation. Allow me to share why I feel this.

First, I’ll start with the word technology. That basically sums it up. Never in any other generation have we ever had this much knowledge at our finger tips. There, that sums up the advanced knowledge. They see so much and may be addicted to what the computer and cell phone have to offer.

Then we get to the common sense/respect factor. Children seem to be more aggressive and less fearful. Did you ever think about arguing with your parents when they said “No?” Did you ever think about talking back to your mother or father? Weren’t you absolutely clear of what the repercussions were going to be if you did anything to make your parents angry?

Then what happened? Why does our generation feel they have to re-invent the wheel of parenting? Why is it that we don’t demand/expect/earn the same respect our parents did. I think I may have that answer. We want our children to like us. So, how’s that working?

Today our children are faced with more criminal activities, peer pressure, and media crap being shoved down their throats than ever, and if we aren’t there to be their rock, this pressure will take hold of them and swallow them up.

Be bold, forthright, and when you go forth, be a glimmer of hope to your child. Be their mentor and let them know (in your weekly family meetings), what is and what is not acceptable. Bottom line! No if, ands, or buts. Then, comes the hard part. Make sure you follow through with the repercussions if the rules are broken.

It’s not a bad thing being stern. You are teaching your child the harsh reality that if you lie, cheat, steal, do illegal drugs, drink under age, have sex, or whatever else is out there, that they may either die, go to jail, or end up raising a child at a very young, immature age. If they end up in jail, their life will never be the same. That’s an awful lot to have to swallow as a parent, no less a child.

We have many decisions to make that, hopefully, will be enforced immediately. Straighten up our back bone and learn to be Pro-active, or do we have to wait until the world gobbles up our children and spits them out and be Re-active? There aren’t many people that you can count on in the judicial system that will help you be pro-active, they will, however, be there if your child does something wrong! You can do this. Take this journey and guide your child down the path of just being a really cool person who is able to keep their own identity.

There are many amazing motivational authors who are sharing incredible information on “How To.” Please don’t feel that no one understands you or your situation. Trust me, they do understand. Don’t be foolish thinking that no one can help you, because there are many seasoned parents/experts who have already walked in your shoes and are still feel the repercussions because we were stuck thinking “It’s no big deal buying them everything they want, or allowing them to do those things in your house because at least their safe, or even letting them walk out the door after you’ve told them No!”

Another thought is – Please don’t fight with your spouse or partner in front of your children. This is one of the worst mistakes we can make. Stay on the same page with each other as this is crucial. It doesn’t matter if you see eye to eye, just don’t let your child know you are not on the same page. DO NOT let your children feel tension between you. If you think there’s a lot of manipulation going on between you and your child now, just wait until they get a hold of that. They will play you both like a fiddle.

Dads, as head of the household, you committed to this family that you would be there. It’s so crucial that you be totally involved with the raising of your child. Your wife/partner knows you work hard and when you come home the last thing you want to do is get involved with a situation you know nothing about. Take a moment to discuss the matter then sit down with your child and come to a positive understanding. It is crucial that you back your partner, because if you don’t, and you disrespect each other, your child will begin disrespecting you also.

If you are a single parent, you will have to work twice as hard and as a single parent when my child was younger, I know how hard it can be. But, you will get the same results by being healthy and strong.

When you are clear-minded, kind, gentle, loving, and respectful of one another, it is key to a healthy family, and it doesn’t matter if you have a new born or an 18-year old. If we learn to control and respect ourselves, and show respect to one another,(even when we’re driving) we may instill this behavior onto our children. Don’t get frustrated if they don’t jump on your band wagon immediately, but if they continually see the calmness and love inside you, they will eventually understand the importance of being good citizens.

Communication is key. No more screaming, cussing at one another and shouting out horrific slurs. That behavior only leads to hurtful feelings, slamming doors, and a bruised child’s heart!